Our Bureau

Mumbai, Jan. 30

HINDALCO Industries Ltd reported a 13 per cent fall in its third quarter net profit at Rs 300.6 crore against Rs 347.3 crore in the year-ago period.

The performance of the copper business was impacted due to production losses resulting in the decline in net profit.

Net sales moved up by 15 per cent to Rs 2,873.7 crore (Rs 2,490.1 crore).

Aluminium business clocked revenues of Rs 1,564.4 crore, 16 per cent higher. "Sustained strength in LME prices, rising volumes and higher weight on value-added products were the key factors contributing to the growth," the company said in a news release. This boosted segment profit by 17 per cent to Rs 542.1 crore from Rs 462.9 crore.

Copper business revenues rose 14 per cent from Rs 1,145.4 crore to Rs 1,308.4 crore on the back of a rising LME. "The business faced its toughest quarter in its eight and a half-years history because of difficult business conditions," the company said. The 180 ktpa Smelter I took a routine bi-annual maintenance shutdown for 25 days. The 250 ktpa Smelter III, commissioned earlier this year, took a forced 19 days shutdown due to minor metal leakage and resultant damage to nearby equipment.

"Lower smelter up-time and consequent decrease in production during the quarter affected the profit adversely," the company said. The copper business also had to bear costs of repairs to the two big smelters, suffer backwardation charges and incur high expenses on liquid fuels, the company said.

Global aluminium consumption is anticipated to grow 4.5-5 per cent during 2006.

However, raw material costs alumina, power, carbon materials are impacting smelter margins adversely. Shares of Hindalco were nearly unchanged at Rs 160.45 on BSE.

Related Stories:
Copper is a drag on Hindalco performance Second-quarter net down 7%

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 31, 2006)
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